<
>

Delegation to visit Ghana to promote baseball

NEW YORK -- New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya will
be among a delegation of baseball officials going to Accra, Ghana,
next week to hold a clinic and promote baseball.

Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, former San Francisco and Chicago
Cubs manager Dusty Baker also will be on the trip along with Dave
Stewart, Bob Watson and Reggie Smith, Minaya said Friday. The group
is scheduled to leave New York on Feb. 1, spend four days in Ghana
and return Feb. 6.

"Children around the world dream of becoming major league
superstars. With the help from programs like this one, the children
of Africa are one step closer to making this dream a reality,"
George Ntim, the president of the African Development Foundation,
said in a statement.

The trip marks the highest-level baseball effort in Africa. In
the past, Major League Baseball has sent professional and amateur
coaches to Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Uganda,
Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, the commissioner's office said. MLB
also has donated equipment to groups in those nations over the past
decade.

In addition, MLB donated equipment for the 2003 All-Africa
games, invited players from Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa to
attend its academy in Tirrenia, Pisa, and sent a coach in residence
to South Africa.